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WKEF-TV ABC 22 News :: Sports - Local Sports - UD, Fairmont grad Cassie Sant signs with Italian hoops team

UD, Fairmont grad Cassie Sant signs with Italian hoops team

DAYTON -- Recent University of Dayton graduate and a four-year standout on the Flyer women's basketball team, Cassie Sant will continue her basketball career, playing professionally overseas.  She signed a contract to play for Virtus La Spezia, an A1 Division team based in La Spezia, Italy which is located about four hours north of Rome.

Sant reached out to former Flyers who have experience playing in Europe before making her final decision. 

"They definitely influenced my decision to go," said Sant. "It's a once in a lifetime experience not many people get."

Sant experienced Italian culture last summer when she traveled with the UD women's basketball team for a tour. The Flyers spent seven days in Italy with stops in Rome, Florence, Venice, Verona and Lake Como. In addition to playing three games, Dayton players and coaches spent time sightseeing at the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Vatican City, St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel.

With Italy being known as a mecca for artists, the destination proves to be very favorable for Sant, who graduated from UD with a degree in visual communication design and has created many pieces of her own, including several that were featured on ESPN nationally-televised broadcasts.  The opportunity to play basketball and explore the art world adds to Sant's anticipation.  

"With Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, the statue of David, the Colosseum, and so much more, an art major could not ask for a better place to be," Sant said.  "I'm excited to explore and sight see and maybe create some more of my own art." 

She will embark on this chance of a lifetime without familiar faces cheering in the stands. 

"The hardest part for me will definitely be being away from my family. I've never been more than a 20-minute drive from home," Sant said. "My family and friends have played a huge role in my life being my supporting crew for my entire career.  With them being time zones away and separated by an ocean, it will be an adjustment."

Head Coach Jim Jabir has confidence Sant will be successful at the next level. 

"I think Cassie is incredibly skilled and has a good understanding of the game.  She has a good sense of how the Europeans play because she is similar in her abilities," he said. "She has great size and runs well and those are all things that Europeans look at.  Her understanding of the game, her intelligence, and the way she passes the ball are all things that make her very important."

Sant played in 117 games during her Flyer career, averaging 7.5 ppg and 3.6 rpg, including a career-best 10.7 ppg and 5.7 rpg her senior year. During her tenure, UD went 95-30 overall, won the program's first Atlantic 10 Tournament title, earned two A-10 Regular Season championships and advanced to the NCAA Tournament all four years.

Sant will continue her success on the court in a country which has so much to offer in so many different aspects of her life.UD, Fairmont grad Cassie Sant signs with Italian hoops team

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The Brewers dropped back-to-back games for the first time in more than a month, and it came at a bad time. They started the day 3 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the final NL wild card spot.

They got no break from the Reds, who clinched the NL Central title on Saturday night.

Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a mini-stroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old manager hopes to return to the dugout next week.


CINCINNATI (AP) -- Dusty Baker won't manage the Cincinnati Reds until the final series in St. Louis, giving him time to recover from an irregular heartbeat that left him hospitalized last week.

Baker met with owner Bob Castellini and his team on Tuesday before a game against the Brewers. Bench coach Chris Speier said he'll manage the final three home games against Milwaukee and three in Pittsburgh over the weekend, with Baker taking over for the last three games next week.

The 63-year-old manager was hospitalized in Chicago last Wednesday for an irregular heartbeat, a problem he's had for a while. He was in the hospital for four days, missing the Reds' 6-0 win over the Dodgers on Saturday night that clinched the NL Central title.


CHICAGO (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox have lost sole possession of first place in the AL Central race, with the Indians playing spoiler. Gordon Beckham hit into a game-ending forceout with the potential tying run on second base yesterday as the Indians downed the White Sox 4-3.

Down 4-0 in the fourth inning, the White Sox closed within a run when Paul Konerko homered off Chris Perez leading off the ninth. Perez walked a pair of batters with two outs, and Beckham grounded to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, who threw to second baseman Jason Kipnis for the force.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Through four games and four victories, Ohio State's defense has faced a continual drumbeat of short passes, quick routes, screens and sweeps.

Every opponent, it seems, has relied on a sleight of hand.

Now the Buckeyes are looking forward to getting into familiar territory when they open Big Ten play.

When No. 14 Ohio State travels to 20th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes anticipate they'll run into a more conventional Midwestern attack. Granted, that means having to counteract the 244-pound blasts of the Spartans' massive Le'Veon Bell.

But after a month of chasing people, the Buckeyes think they might benefit from a change of pace from the subterfuge and rush-avoiding quick-hitters in a trade for raw man-on-man power struggles at the line of scrimmage.


EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Michigan State's lackluster win last weekend got to coach Mark Dantonio.

After the Spartans beat Eastern Michigan 23-7 Saturday, Dantonio hurried through a terse news conference full of abrupt answers. The Michigan State coach said "next question" seven times in under a minute and was clearly annoyed with the way his team played.

On Tuesday, Dantonio spoke with reporters for around a half-hour, but Michigan State isn't making any players or assistants available this week. The Spartans' coach is trying to send a clear message to his players that it's time to get serious.

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